Stony Point head coach Craig Chessher isn’t changing the way he operates based on how difficult the opponent is.
The Tigers are in the midst of arguably their toughest part of the season. After suffering their first loss of the season to defending district champion and state semifinalist Cedar Ridge last week, Stony Point faces off with district runner-up and state quarterfinalist Hendrickson Thursday at 7 p.m. at The Pfield.
“When you get a schedule, it kind of is what it is,” Chessher said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge and Hendrickson is a good team. We do the same stuff we always do, I don’t know how to do anything else. We’ll see if we have some kids that can step up.”
The Tigers and Hawks have traded wins and losses every year since 2013, with Hendrickson winning 37-22 a season ago.
Stony Point fell 35-17 to Cedar Ridge last Friday night. The Tigers trailed by just four points at halftime and couldn’t score after the break while the Raiders scored 14 points to put the game away and win for the eighth year in a row.
Junior quarterback Kyle Overton completed 15 of 25 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and ran for a team-high 59 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers combined for 136 yards on the ground and had three tackles for loss defensively.
“I learned that our kids play hard,” Chessher said. “We made two mental busts and gave up two touchdowns. That’s not us and that hurt us. Hopefully, our kids will stay competitive because looking out there, there are a lot of blowouts and we just need to keep our nose to the grindstone and find a way into the playoffs.”
Hendrickson hasn’t struggled for the most part offensively as it averages 46.3 points per game and has scored at least 45 points in all but one game, a 29-20 loss to Vandegrift on Sept. 21.
The Hawks are a run-first team but have shown the ability to capitalize on a big play. Quarterback Blaine Barker threw for 81 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 102 yards and a score in their win against Westwood last week. Timieone Jackson had 85 yards and a touchdown and Danny Newsome went for 68 yards and a score on the ground.
“They have athletes and that’s nothing to shy away from,” Stony Point linebacker Chase Coots said. “I have the utmost confidence in our team right now. After the Cedar Ridge game, I know from here on out, we’re going to be coming out guns blazing.”
Stony Point also relies more on the run but also averages just over 100 yards per game through the air. That extra threat will be on Thursday, according to Chessher.
“They have great personnel,” Chessher said. “We can’t become one dimensional and we’ve got to keep them off balance to where they can’t hunker down. We’re going to try to stay diverse and stay consistent.”
The Tigers don’t leave their home stadiums following Thursday game in Pflugerville as they host Vista Ridge on Oct. 12 and face off at Round Rock against the Dragons on Oct. 19.
“I think the defense has been there the entire season,” Coots said. “Teams are going to capitalize on mental mistakes, but I’m proud to be a part of this team.”